Maple Pecan Chocolate Squares

These squares are like an extra rich butter tart, with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure!

These squares are like an extra rich butter tart, with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure!

Maple Pecan Chocolate Squares

Base:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cool unsalted butter

Filling:

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice

2 cups pecan halves

1 cup chocolate chips

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 °F.  Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides.

2)  Prepare the base by stirring the flour, icing sugar and salt together.  Cut in the butter until the mixture is an even crumbly texture (this can be done by hand, with beaters or in a food processor).  Press this into the prepared pan.

3)  Bake for 15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden.  Cool the crust while preparing the filling.

4)  Stir the brown sugar with the cornstarch, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, butter, vanilla and vinegar or lemon juice.  Stir in the pecan halves and chocolate chips and pour this over the cooled crust.  

5)  Bake for about 25 minutes, until the outside edges of the filling are bubbling and the centre only has a little jiggle to it when the pan is moved.  Cool the squares to room temperature, and then chill completely before slicing.

The squares can be stored refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Makes 1 8-inch square pan, cuts into 25 or 36 squares.

Courtesy Anna Olson

http://annaolson.ca/

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